Governor Scott Walker wants to give someone with real life experience the option to pass a competency test and get a teaching license, though not everyone is on board.
Tammy Huth is Director of Teacher Education at the Department of Public Instruction. She testified before the Assembly Committee on Education, which held a public hearing on Thursday. “In Wisconsin to obtain a license there are two things an applicant must have,” she says. “The first thing is they must have a bachelor’s degree. And the second thing they have to have is they have to complete an approved educated preparation program.”
Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake), who is on the legislative panel, referenced the governor’s Workforce Readiness Initiative, asking DPI officials whether they were familiar with the proposal. Jennifer Kammerud, policy initiatives advisor for DPI, said she was aware of it. “We’ve read the proposal. I think there’s some question regarding what is meant by some of the language. Generally speaking, though, the department feels that it is important to know how to teach.”
AUDIO: Huth explains the importance of having “pedagogical” knowledge. :17
In addition to the ability to teach, Huth says, there are several other “building blocks” in the teacher preparation program. Those include having evidence of communications skills, knowledge of the subject, human relations, student teaching experience, and there are statutory requirements.
DPI officials note there are also alternatives for obtaining a license to teach in Wisconsin.